By krickey, if they can make a Wear A Kilt Day and Sysadmin Day, then I have an inspiration for the ultimate new special day. I know what you’re thinking…wearing a kilt on Sysadmin Day! What could be cooler than that? Well, technically nothing. Nonetheless I am officially hijacking the Gregorian Calendar and claiming October 21st to be…
…False Prophet Day!
This is the day where we can all hold hands and…wait…no we can’t. Unfortunately some have been bad boys and girls and scared the good citizens by pronouncing fire and brimstone upon the populace. And as always nothing ever happens. The world has another laugh and the ones who behaved themselves ( ie. Orthodox Christianity ) are left to clean up the puke from the party.
So why do they do it? What drives someone to stand up, put their neck on the line and set a date for the end of the world? Not enough love as a child? Extreme narcissism? Intestinal gas?
The thing about poor old Harold Camping and the rest of his heretical bedfellows is that they fall into one or more possible categories…
#1. DELIBERATE DECEPTION
This is the most cynical view, but in many cases the most prevalent. Threaten divine judgement for the sole purpose of attention or personal gain. While I’d guess 8 out of 10 false prophets fall into this category alone, the question is whether or not Harold does. Personally, he has some behind the scenes dealings which lead me to conclude the man is a deliberate charlatan.
The tip-off on whether or not a false prophet is in it for the gain is usually universal…using scripture passages so out of context and so obviously misconstrued that the only logical conclusion is deception. These go together like chocolate and peanut butter, or losers and Twilight fans.
The big guns almost certainly fall into this category. Like when the Watchtower decides to rewrite the Bible and butcher the text, or makes almost a bakers dozen predictions about the end of the world happening at a specific date. Then you have to suspect fowl play. Likewise when Joseph Smith goes off on a rant about replacing the Bible with a better book that HE wrote from gold plates that were never seen by the public. Sometimes you have to make a calculated assumption on peoples intentions.
But within all that is the universal clue: Denying they ever said anything. A liar is a liar.
#2. SINCERE, BUT DELUDED
Every now and then you have the good shepherd who has gone wrong. His followers love him so much and after a while that kind of ego boost really gets to you. It’s like coming out of a cold shower and a wayward group of nuns catches a glimpse of your shrivelled manhood. They gawk in amazement and naturally you think, “wow, I must be well hung”, not realizing the pitiful reality of the situation.
Truth is, we all fall into this category to some degree. It’s like thinking your Playstation addicted child with a nervous tick and a craving for the white stuff in Oreos is destined for the Oval Office. Yes, your hearts in the right place. But your child is in reality an idiot. Unlike mine of course. They’re all brilliant.
Clearly it seems that nearly every false prophet starts out small with a few safe predictions. Only once their egos have been sufficiently inflated do they finally go bat-crap insane and actually believe their own press. That’s almost always when severely whacked out ideas and end-times predictions rear their ugly head.
#3. SCARED SPITLESS
Throughout history it was always the Shaman that threatened the wrath of the gods that got the most attention. The one huge exception was ancient Judaism. In that case whoever pronounced doom was subsequently crapped upon, beaten and run out of town. Historically, it seems being a true prophet doesn’t tend to have many material benefits.
But suppose you’ve made a few bad calls and now your friendly flock is ready to become an angry mob. That’s the time to do one of two things: deny you said it, or spiritualize the failed event and hope for the best. Since we live in a digital age where taking anything back is about as easy as demanding Georges St. Pierre loan you a twenty, the latter must prevail. This is exactly the path poor Harold took. Scared out of his wits, he decided to take another swing at the ball.
Did you see Harold do his first interview after May 21st? I haven’t seen that much sweat and tension since the Nixon/Frost interview. That’s a man that knew deep down that he screwed up but no way in Hell was he going to admit it. It takes a big man to say you were wrong and Harold is evidently not a big man. This takes me back to the old Worldwide Church of God cult. One day they got together, realized they were a band of merry heretics and PUBLICLY repented. Having denounced their prophet Herbert W. Armstrong, the new WWCG ( Grace Communion Int. ) is a welcome member of the orthodox Christian fold. Such may one day be the case for Family Radio. Once poor Harold passes on the disillusioned followers may have no choice but to pick up their Bibles, do some homework and come to the conclusion they followed a con-man the whole time.
It’s happened to us all at one point in time. You’re sitting a the breakfast table and suddenly your cereal tells you to get the machete because the garden plants have uprooted themselves and are attacking. In a sad twist of irony you are indeed cookoo for Coco Puffs.
Insane people have no problem hearing voices and believing their messengers from God because they’re, well…insane. Call it what you like, MPD, Schizophrenia, chips implanted by the CIA…the result is someone so convinced of their unique link to the will of God that they put it all on the line.
The fact is that few of the major cult religions were founded by truly insane individuals. Most of them were highly intelligent con-men able to devise a complex foundation of strange doctrines. Yet one such example of an insane cult leader/prophet may have been David Koresh of the Branch Dividians in Waco. Initially Dave might have been just a lady-hound, but at the end he had clearly lost his marbles. Once you claim you are Jesus Christ then that pretty much settles it. You’re now officially full retard.
So while the atheists have a good old time patting themselves on the back with another end-of-the-world party on Oct 21st, the jokes really on them. We too can celebrate with “Another One Bites the Dust” party in recognition that many have come preaching a false gospel and many more are still on the way.
But we’ll be ready for them.